Newspaper for Crossmaglen, South Armagh, Newry and Down.

Local schools sign up to ‘adopt Ellen’

A host of local schools have signed up to a new fundraising campaign in aid of Bessbrook toddler Ellen Treanor.  In January of this year, little Ellen was diagnosed with stage 4 high-risk neuroblastoma, an extremely rare and aggressive childhood cancer. 

Desperate to stop the disease from returning, the three year old’s family have joined forces with Solving Kid’s Cancer to try to raise the hundreds of thousands of pounds needed to allow Ellen to take part in clinical trials in America aimed at stopping the deadly disease from returning.  

The toddler began a three-week course of radiotherapy at the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children last week which will be followed by months of anti-body treatment.  The tot has already undergone gruelling treatment over the last 8 months including 8 cycles of high dose chemotherapy, a 13 hour surgery to remove the tumour in her stomach and a stem cell transplant.

With the entire district and beyond taking the plight of the local toddler into their hearts, and a massive 142,000 raised for her cause in the last two months, Ellen’s fundraising team has been busy visiting schools across the area asking them to “adopt Ellen” as their chosen charity for this school term.  Each school has been given a fundraising pack with information on Ellen’s journey and her condition and an official Ellen adoption certificate.

The packs also provides fundraising ideas as well as details of two forthcoming fundraisers which will see pupils across all the schools take part in a dress up day or non-uniform day before the Halloween break, followed by a huge sponsored walk in Newry on December 9th.

“Schools can come up with their own fundraising ideas throughout the term and to make it easier the packs have all the details for the Halloween dress up day and then there is a massive push for the sponsored walk in the Greenbank Industrial Estate in Newry on 9th December,” explains Ellen’s Journey fundraising committee member, Anne-Marie Campbell.

“We’ve been overwhelmed by the support from the schools so far,” says Anne-Marie, adding that principal of St. Patrick’s in Newry, Ciaran Mackin, has been instrumental in helping to get so many schools involved, “opening the doors for us to approach the schools.”

Over 30 schools have signed up to “adopt Ellen” and Anne-Marie says there is a “genuine love” for Ellen among school children across the district, with many knowing who she is and eager to help her. 

The dedicated fundraiser also appealed to any local businesses, crèches or community organisations who want to get involved in the campaign to contact the fundraising team through the Ellen’s Journey Facebook page.

“Everyone has taken on Ellen’s battle and we are constantly blown away by the support we are receiving from the entire community.  Every single penny counts, from the generous young kids donating their birthday money to the local businesses donating takings and all the other fundraisers taking place.  Ellen’s treatment will run into hundreds of thousands of pounds so we are urging everyone to get involved in raising the vital funds needed to give her a fighting chance.”

For more information and fundraising resources visit the Ellen’s Journey Facebook page or Ellen’s page on the Solving Kids’ Cancer website – you can also make a donation via her Solving Kids’ Cancer page or you can donate by text if you send ELTR77 and your amount £1 – £10 to 70070.